It is a given fact that most Malawians are fully aware of the wonderful spiritual heritage that Malawi has received from Scotland through Dr. David Livingstone who was the first missionary to come to Malawi. Later, through his efforts and appeals to Christians back in Scotland, many of them (especially college students), followed his steps to Africa where they laid their lives down for the Lord, His Gospel and His people in Malawi. As a Malawian I am humbled by this and I give praise, glory and honor for such men as David Livingstone and his colleagues for their passion and commitment to see the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ spread to my home country. Through their sacrifices people like me have received and are now experience salvation from sin and its eternal consequences and have come to know Jesus Christ as the Lord and Savior of our lives. To Him be all the praise, glory and honor now and forevermore! Amen!
I feel indebted to Scotland because of this wonderful spiritual heritage that Malawi has received through many of her sons and daughters – many of whom literary died and were buried in Malawi – I have seen their graves. Many Malawians (especially Christians) are aware of the blessings that we all have received from the Lord this small country in the UK – and we all appreciate this very much.
But what most Malawian Christians may not know about Scotland as she stands today is that Scotland desperately needs Christ! By this I do not mean that there are absolutely no Christians or churches in Scotland. They are and some of them very good. But I often find myself weeping for Scotland inside me. When I first visited Scotland a few years ago, I was shocked to see how small the churches were and also how low the attendance in the Sunday services were. For many in Scotland, Christianity is a thing of the past. No one in his or her right man believes in Christianity in the 21st Century. Man has advanced and no longer needs Christianity which is essentially another way of saying that they no longer need God or Jesus Christ which is tragic! You can imagine how shocking this would have been to a Malawian Christian. Another thing that was also shocking to me was the fact that most (not all) of the churches that I visited there, were comprised of older people. Young people are hardly seen in the churches of Scotland. One minister told me that there are many young people today who do not even know the name “Jesus.” They have never heard of Him. If you start talking to them about Jesus, they will look at you puzzled wondering “Who is Jesus?” I didn’t completely believe this when I heard it – I thought he was speaking hyperbolically not literally until I was faced with a similar situation right here in New Westminster, BC, Canada! One day, a colleague from our local congregation and I met a young man as we were distributing Gospel tracts and sharing the gospel on the streets of New Westminster. I began talking to this young man about Jesus and there he was clueless about who Jesus was – never heard of Him. But the thing that shocked me the most was to see and hear of many wonderful church buildings – really impressive structures – which were once used for worship but now are empty! No one goes there for worship anymore. Many of them are just standing there with no congregation of people/worshippers of our Triune God! A good number of them have been sold and turned into Internet Cafe’s, Museums, Disco Clubs or Pubs, etc. This made me really sad especially considering the fact that I know so many Christians back home in Malawi are worshipping under a tree or in the open space because they don’t have a proper church building or because they have outgrown the existing church buildings.
This is what I think most Malawians don’t know about Scotland. Scotland is in dire poverty spiritually. There is a spiritual barrenness there that is utterly shocking and frightening. But it’s not only Scotland, it’s all of the Western countries, especially those in Europe. I see the same here in Canada. We need the Lord’s help and intervention! We need revival!
For your encouragement, I do not think it’s a hopeless situation. Yes, it’s a bad – very bad situation. But the LORD is still on His Throne! He has His people in Scotland. The question is, “How should we (as Malawian Christians – but also Christians everywhere) respond to this situation?” Well, the first thing that we ought to do – and all of us can do this is to PRAY. As the Lord Jesus Christ taught His disciples in Matthew 9:38, “Therefore pray earnestly to the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest.” So, that’s the first thing we ought to do in obedience to the Lord’s instructions and in response to the desperate situation in Scotland as in other countries around the world – not forgetting our own. But there is more we can and should do with God’s help. I hope to address that later on this blog. Stay tuned! For now, would you please pause and pray for Scotland in accordance by Matthew 9:38. God bless you in Christ!
Here are some helpful links on this (for you skeptics):